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THE SECRET WORLD is an upcoming MMO that imagines a world
where all of the nightmarish monsters, myths and legends you've heard of in
your lifetime are, in fact, real. The humans of this universe battle against
these horrific creatures in a seemingly endless war that you are about to join.
Fango spoke with the game’s senior producer and creative director Ragnar Tørnquist
about the mechanics, some of the terrifying monsters you'll face and how the
special locations in player vs. player mode will impact the game. Read on!
FANGORIA: THE SECRET WORLD is an upcoming MMO with many unique
qualities set in a world where monsters and mythic beasts are real, and society
is very different from our own. Where did the inspiration for THE SECRET
WORLD'S universe originate, and how difficult was creating a world in which all
of these creatures could coexist?
RAGNAR TØRNQUIST: THE SECRET WORLD takes place in the modern
day real world, and we have taken inspiration from a lot of different sources,
but behind it all, tying it together, is our own extensive and deep storyline
that spans millions of years, and multiple dimensions. The initial inspiration
for the universe came from years of devouring contemporary fantasy and horror
comics, novels, movies, and TV shows, and also from a lifelong interest in
myths and legends, ancient history, cryptozoology, magic and the occult. There
are not a lot of games in general —and absolutely no online games—that draw on
these rich sources of inspiration, and it felt like such a natural fit for us.
It’s taken us the better part of ten years to create the
world, and everything in the game has an extensive backstory; absolutely
everything, from the characters and monsters, to the three secret societies, to
every mission and piece of lore, every weapon... This is something that players
really feel and appreciate when they start digging into the setting. There’s so
much there, it’ll take months and years to get to the bottom of it all.
FANG: THE SECRET WORLD has strayed from the common MMO path
by taking away most of the RPG elements you'd find in other games, such as
removing traditional classes and leveling mechanics and having NPCs primary
purpose being something more than simply offering missions. What made the team
stray from these features that seem to be standard in so many MMOs today?
TØRNQUIST: From day one, we set out to do something fresh and
different and new; not just with the contemporary setting and monsters drawn
from pop culture and legend, from modern horror and ancient mythology, but also
with the game mechanics. There are enough class-and-level based role-playing
games out there, enough high fantasy and science-fiction settings, and we
really felt we needed to do something different—to not just follow the same old
template, but to actually take the road less travelled and give players
something they have never seen before. It’s really company culture here at
Funcom to not just rinse and repeat, but to try to invent and reinvent and
break the mold, regardless of the genre.
FANG: THE SECRET WORLD will feature tons of monsters from
literature, myths and lore all in one world. Can you tell us a few of the more
unique and horrifying creatures we will find in the game, and how we're
supposed to take out these terrifying beasts?
TØRNQUIST: I can’t think of any other game with such a vast and
diverse cast of monsters, some of them drawn from modern horror movies, some
from ancient myths and fairy tales, some from urban legends and pop culture. A
couple of my favorites are the Draug on Solomon Island, reanimated and mutated
corpses of Viking warriors that draw their power from the ocean ; the
Revenants, which are dark creatures from mediaeval Europe that can morph into
ravens and rats; and, of course, the vampires in Transylvania, not just your
standard cannon fodder vampires, but also mutant super-soldiers created through
an occult science program initiated by Stalin. Every type of monster requires a
different approach, different tactics, and players really have to adapt and
change the way they play in order to stay alive across the different adventure
FANG: In player vs. player matches, gamers will face off in
massive conflicts on legendary battle sites such as Stonehenge, El Dorado and
Shambala. Why were these unique locations saved for PvP matches, how chaotic
can these PvP matches get and what more can you tell us about THE SECRET
WORLD'S multiplayer versus mode?
TØRNQUIST: We felt these locations were uniquely suited to our
player-versus-player combat, since they are powerful occult locations and home
to some of the greatest mysteries of mankind. Just because they are PvP zones
doesn’t mean players won’t get to see the same locations from another, non-combat
perspective in the future. We have plans to expand on the lore around our PvP
There are two different PvP modes in THE SECRET WORLD:
Battlefields and Warzones. Battlefields are ten-versus-ten-versus-ten battles
where the three secret societies—the Templars, the Illuminati and the Dragon—fight
short, intense battles in order to (briefly) dominate either El Dorado or
Stonehenge; both of them sources of great magic, of Anima, that the factions
Fusang Projects, on the other hand, is a persistent Warzone;
a Chinese city built on top of an ancient temple, where the battle rages
twenty-four-seven between all three secret societies. In this location, players
compete for control over various points on the map, with the ultimate goal of
dominating all of Fusang Projects.
FANG: What is the key difference between THE SECRET WORLD
and other MMOs and why players will want to keep coming back to play your game
again and again?
TØRNQUIST: The modern-day setting and story are two key
differentiators. This really is the first massively multiplayer role-playing
game set in our world, in real and familiar locations. The story is deep and complex,
and you’re only going to see the beginning of it at launch. It will keep
developing as the game grows and evolves, and players will cooperate to piece
together a massive jigsaw puzzle.
There’s also the fact that you can join a secret society and
take part in the battle for control over the Earth through PvP combat, ranking
missions, and the ongoing political conflict between the factions; and also dig
into the secret history of the world through the eyes of these ancient cabals.
Last, but not least, our skill-based system has no classes
or levels, and players can grow and develop their characters any way they want.
That freedom, that flexibility, is incredibly unique, and will allow our
players to experiment with their characters, with different weapon types and
play styles, for months and years to come.
You can learn more about THE SECRET WORLD at the game's official
website. THE SECRET WORLD is out July 3 on PC.
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